If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen updates on my recent “lifestyle change” to plant-based eating. It’s been an adventure, to say the least! No joke—the produce section of the grocery store is our new family date night spot. :)
It hasn’t been the easiest (or surprisingly, the hardest) change to make—and it’s stuck unlike many dietary changes I’ve tried to make in the past. And I think that’s in large part because it’s not just me I’m thinking about. This is a shift for my whole family. I don’t want my kids to make these changes as an adult, like I am; I hope to instill healthy habits and a strong respect for their bodies now.
We’re still in the thick of this transition, but the following things have helped us change our family diet without too many tantrums and tears. If you’re looking to make a similar shift, I hope they’ll help you, too!
1. Get Everybody on Board
This is easier said than done, of course, but it’s important to have buy-in from everyone in your family before making a massive overhaul to your daily eats. It’s also helpful to allow for open, honest communication throughout the process. My three kids are little still, but they know how to express an opinion (believe me). My husband and I try to be open to the fact that this transition is different for all of us, and we let everyone share their thoughts respectfully on a regular basis.
2. Start Slowly
You don’t have to overhaul breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the start. While some members of your family (yourself included) may be able to quit certain foods cold turkey, other members of your family might appreciate easing into a new menu. And their bodies might, too! If your family has spent years scarfing down sugar, meat, dairy, and more, it could be quite a shock to the system to suddenly go all natural and all green. Easing into a new diet will help your beloved family members and their bodies adjust to the changes with ease, patience, and hopefully, a little more understanding.
3. Role Model Healthy Habits
The shift may not happen at the same time for everyone in your family. I’ll admit that there are still certain meals where the kids eat something different from what my husband and I are eating; but we continue to model for them these healthier habits (and how much we enjoy them!). When the kids see us enjoying our food and moving our bodies, they’re much more likely to (eventually) give it a shot, too.
4. Create New Memories
Consider the ways you can bond with your family over the new meals in your life—instead of baking cookies together, can you bake kale chips? (Those are actually much more delicious than they sound!) One of the hardest parts about changing a diet (for anyone) is letting go of the good memories that are associated with certain foods and meals. By making new, fun memories, you’ll begin building positive associations with healthier foods as a family.
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To me, this transition is less about changing my body, it’s about changing my life—and the lives of my family. It’s about respecting our bodies for the temples that they are; for everything they allow us to do and feel. The better I take care of myself physically, the better I am able to show up in every other area of my life.
While it doesn’t hurt to look and feel better, my overall goal is to live better. So far, so good. :)
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Have you ever switched up your family’s diets?
Any tips to add to the ones I shared above?
Let us know in the comments below.